Fighting the fight against a lack of information on Canadian Law Schools.
UG CGPA: ###
LS Class: ####
Saturday, August 24, 2002
Tuition Now or Tuition Later
CTV is reporting that McGill is considering a new scheme to maintain lower tuition. The plan would involve law students agreeing to forfeit a portion of their future earnings to the law school in return for lower tuition. Sounds a lot like income pro rated student loans, but it could be an option for the future. Check out the new poll to let you opinion be known. Or take a more direct route, send in an e-mail or a comment (if comments are up, grr) and get some debate started.
Thursday, August 22, 2002
The deadline for applying for Toronto and Calgary summer jobs at firms doing on campus interviews is September 5 with interviews on September 27. There are a host of firms from both Calgary and Toronto doing on campus interviews at UBC and when the list gets closer to finalized I will let you all know because what firms are interested in students from your school should be an important factor in choosing a law school. So far most of the big Toronto and Calgary firms have signed up. Guess I better start getting my resume in order.
Friday, August 16, 2002
An interesting piece from Slate
This is an article from Slate. I thought it was pretty good. My take is that the people the author describes exist. I ignored them and I did OK. The description of grades is bang on. All in all, some good advice. If anyone has read the Alan Dershowitz book Letters to a Young Lawyer I would also be interested in your thoughts.
Wednesday, August 14, 2002
LSAT vs. GPA Heavy Schools
Recent conversations have indicated that not all students are aware that each school weighs your LSAT and GPA differently. Below is the list of how each school weights the LSAT vs. GPA.
UVic: 70% GPA/30% LSAT
UBC: 50% GPA/50% LSAT
U of A: Doesn't say on the website here? Anyone know?
U of C: Website says no formal weighting.
U of S: Doesn't say anything. What a terrible website by the way. Almost worse than UBC
U of M: 60% GPA/40% LSAT. Good FAQ section.
Windsor: Doesn't say, looks pretty holistic though.
Western: "Both are considered equally" so 50/50 I guess.
U of T: Considered in tandem with no specific index. See the exact policy here.
Osgoode: Combined to make a joint GPA, doesn't give an exact weight though.
Queen's: No specific ratio given, looks pretty holistic.
U of O: No ratio given.
UNB: 60% GPA/40% LSAT
Dalhousie: Doesn't really say, but I bet there is one.
That wasn't as much help as I hoped it would be, but maybe if someone out there can fill in the gaps, let me know. It is of course interesting to note that in the US schools almost all weight the LSAT at 60% or higher.
Change in schedule
Anybody hoping to gain great insight in the ways of Administrative Law will be sad to note that I have switched out of it in favour of Natural Resources Law. I originally wanted to take this class and I was casually checking out if any spots had opened up and, voila, there it was, so I switched. I figure if I'm going to work in Calgary, I should know something about Oil and Gas (a separate class with Natural Resources as a recommended pre-req, but it doesn't fit into my schedule.
On another note, I was wondering if anyone out there would like to post here on their experiences at a different school besides UBC. I'm thinking that this would be really valuable if 2 or 3 students could compare their experiences at different schools and let others know. This might help them make up their minds. In any case, if anyone is interested, send me an e-mail or set up a comment. Or you cna remain nameless and faceless, forcing others to make their law school decisions in the dark as you did. Your choice.
Saturday, August 10, 2002
The wait is on...
Well, I'm sure you guys are just like me. A little less than a month to the beginning of school again, and its time to get antsy. The summer job(s) are getting a little tedious. The listless times in between work and sleep seem to hold less and less joy and the anticipation of another year of challenging school seems to get greater every day.
I have also started preparing resumes for the summer job hunt. What can I say, I have to make sure that at least looks good to start to gloss over my rather average grades.
In the meantime, here is an interesting link to a story in the Globe and Mail. It's about four ideas from the 1990s that have been "proven" wrong. Hope your summers are going well.
Monday, August 05, 2002
Concerns about Bias
I recently received an e-mail questioning my placement of UBC as a top Canadian law school. The e-mail claims:
I have nowhere found UBC ever being ranked as a top school,
and, in fact, all the research i have done has pointed to the idea
that UBC is one of the poorer law schools in the country, although
better than most American law schools. I have looked particularily
into UBC because i will be attending there in september, and i am
attending there because i could not get in to any other schools that
i applied to (except U of M, but i didnt want to move that far from
Alberta) (I also applied at U of T, Queen's, Osgoode and Dal, and
got into none of them.) I was happy to see on your website that it
(UBC) was ranked high, but cannot substantiate this anywhere, and
the fact that it is the only school i got into, makes me curious as
to why your website would rank it as a top canadian school. Unless,
of course, you attend there and that has coloured your vision. I am
not trying to be hostile, i just think that pre-law students often
take superficial rankings too seriously and let them influence their
decisions to too great a degree. Therefore, by providing biased or
false information, you are negatively contributing to the already
arbitrary decision making process.
And in response I wrote:
I understand your concern and I am glad that someone out there has an opinion that differs from mine. At the same time I think UBC can solidly be placed in the top 5 schools although I would agree that it has some problems to be addressed.
The reasons why UBC I think deserves to be in the top 5 are 4 fold. The First is their admissions numbers are solidly in the top 5 schools. Below U of T, UVic, McGill and Dalhousie but still better than Osgoode and every school in Canada. The second is the wide selection of courses. UBC has one of the widest selection of courses available anywhere. The third is location. Located in the third biggest city in Canada, UBC is the prime supplier of lawyers to Vancouver and has a strong contingent throughout the rest of the major Canadian cities except maybe Montreal. The last one is reputation. In discussions with most people that I have known UBC has consistently been agreed to be one of the stronger schools in Canada.
This is of course tempered by a number of things. The facilities are not that great, including the library. The faculty is short on funding because of the tuition cap policy in BC that has really hurt the school. This has also led to the faculty being somewhat shortstaffed in terms of full time faculty. There are simply too many classes taught by sessionals or lawyers just teaching you.
Again, I could still be biased and I agree too many law students use rankings to make decisions.
Anyone else have any thoughts?